Several weeks ago, conservative Tadas Langaitis, who is associated with the party’s young generation, announced he had lost hope in working constructively and is thus leaving Seimas. There were talks, however, that T. Langaitis simply chose the better paid path of business. This week an anonymous testimony was announced that former advisor to Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, Mykolas Majauskas took the witness, then student of consent age, to his apartment and sexually harassed her. Both analysts and the Conservative chairman Gabrielius Landsbergis admit that T. Langaitis and M. Majauskas’ stories may be different, but they discredit the nurtured road to renewal for the party, LRT.lt writes.
On Wednesday, Seimas Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis stated that there can be no double standards – similarly as in the case of Kęstutis Pūkas, who left Seimas recently following impeachment proceedings, now the Seimas will have to create an investigative commission once more to investigate M. Majauskas’ behaviour several years ago. V. Pranckietis even suggested potential for impeachment, but by the end of the week admitted he had been rash.
“The impeachment commission is formed under three cases: when there is a severe breach of the Constitution, when there is a breach of one’s oath and if there is a crime. In this case the first two do not apply because he was not a member of Seimas yet when these matters occurred. As for the third, when a response arrives from the prosecutors, if there is incriminating material, then we could form the commission,” V. Pranckietis states.
The chairwoman of K. Pūkas’ impeachment commission Dovilė Šakalienė says that M. Majauskas and K. Pūkas’ cases definitely cannot be viewed as equal, however the testimony of a sexual harassment victim must be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.
“The main difference is that there was no subordination between M. Majauskas and the girl because there were no work relations, no candidacy for employment and so on, compared to former MP K. Pūkas’ case. However there are certain parallels because when we’re talking about an individual who holds a high office, has a high political or social status, also there is the large age difference – a man over 30 and a twelfth grader, we definitely see a certain power relation,” D. Šakalienė believes.
Conservative leader Gabrielius Landsbergis called upon the Prosecutor General’s Office to investigate the public allegations against his party colleague. The Penal Code article which the Conservative leader quotes specifies that an investigation is possible only upon receiving a complaint from the victim or their legal representative. As such, the victim would have been able to call upon the prosecutors, but with the limitation period expiring, she could not either. But G. Landsbergis has his arguments.
“If these are questions of particular import to the public, the prosecutors must tender the complaint even if the victim did not request it. It is the so-called defence of the public interest. In this case we see that it is a particularly important matter because the discussion involves a member of Seimas. The prosecutors should at least review it [the complaint] and see if there is potential to investigate anything there or not. From the answer we will then see the legal view of the whole situation,” G. Landsbergis is convinced.
Penal law expert Remigijus Merkevičius states that a Seimas mandate does not grant exceptional status, thus the Conservative leader’s appeal is futile.
“Mr. Landsbergis can claim much, but penal law does not consider M. Majauskas to be an important individual. The law specifies certain exceptions in defending the public interest, society or individual, who cannot make use of their right to defence themselves. Now in this case, we do not have neither the public interest, nor the individual, who cannot defend themselves. As such, this claim has no legal significance. The prosecutors should not pay attention to it and should respond that the wrong plaintiff appealed,” Vilnius University Department Department of Criminal Law docent dr. Remigijus Merkevičius explained.
MP M. Majauskas announced he will also be calling upon the prosecutors regarding slander. This should occur on Monday. The penal law expert believes that the process would be long and difficult for both parties.
“It would appear that the main fact will need proving, whether the information presented to the public matches reality or not. Later on it will be necessary to prove that the one, who presented the information acted intentionally. Depending on the proof of these facts, it will become clear, whether the defence will succeed or not. The girl’s chances to prove it, considering the situation which could have occurred, her capacity to know certain details and such, are very, very slim. Or they practically do not exist,” dr. Merkevičius concludes.
According to communication company OMConsulting head Orijana Mašalė, M. Majauskas’ situation would become more far more difficult if more victims stepped forward.
So far, the participant of the Moksleiviai į Vyriausybę project, which M. Majauskas curated, Milda Gardauskaitė testified of not personally experienced sexual harassment by the politician, but of rumours that supposedly students’ visits to bars would move over into M. Majauskas’ apartment. It is necessary to emphasise here, that she is currently a subordinate of the Lithuanian Farmer and Greens Union delegated Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis – M. Gardauskaitė holds an advisory position in the cabinet Strategic changes group.
According to the public relations expert, due to the recent events, where M. Majauskas was accused of supposedly sexually harassing students and Tadas Langaitis supposedly investing in the crypto-business he consulted and then withdrawing from Seimas will shake up the Conservatives’ positions.
“We have two young people who had a large amount of public trust, who would certainly have brought in many votes for the Conservatives in future elections. Now their reputation is blemished one way or another, at least in the eyes of voters. As such, yes, there should be a significant impact on the Conservative party,” O. Mašalė predicts.
The Conservatives’ leader agrees that due to the two young party members, the political power is now faced with serious challenges, however he views the threat to the idea of renewal far more seriously.
“The Homeland Union is talked of first of all not just because such questions arose regarding the two colleagues, but also because we had raised the flag very high. We truly said that the party must renew itself, that the party system must be renewed and now supposedly there is this attempt to politically fight the Homeland Union, claiming that “hey look, the idea is ruined.” But I believe that the idea itself must be defended, the idea of renewal and thus I will continue to call young individuals to walk together,” G. Landsbergis is convinced.
O. Mašalė believes that the Conservatives can still recover, however the competition now has chances to turn this situation to their advantage during the coming election series next year.
“In this place a niche perhaps appears for the other parties to reveal their new, young faces and thus try to draw the young electorate. We will likely not see any significant change with the older electorate,” she states.